Softday is the collaborative practice of Sean Taylor and Mikael Fernström. They create sonifications, objects, and performances examining the human relation to, and understanding of, the environment, with a particular focus on issues relating to natural cycles and climate change.
The collective Softday conducted a residency at SIRIUS in 2017. During that period they collated scientific information relating to possible links between high cancer rates in the Cobh area and pollution caused by the former Irish Steel plant at Haulbowline. They also engaged in dialogue with experts and interested local community members to critically examine the Irish Steel plant’s ecological impacts.
In 2021, Softday is producing works that revisit that research, including As I Roved Out One Morning (2021), a sea shanty written by Hannah Fahey (composition) and Softday (lyrics), performed by the Softday Deep Water Singers via long-distance communication. It takes as its subject a controversial plan for an incinerator in Ringaskiddy, Cork Harbour, put forward by the waste management company Indaver on various occasions since 2001. The Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment, a coalition of local community groups, has been consistently contesting the proposal. As I Roved Out One Morning brings together field recordings, conversations, transcripts from An Bord Pleanála oral hearings and reasoned arguments submitted to the High Court. It merges the tradition of folk songs that accompany rhythmical labour with the symbolism of political messages contesting the powers that be.
Softday is the collaborative practice of Sean Taylor and Mikael Fernström. They create sonifications, objects and performances, operating in the ‘cracks’ between various media and genres. They explore human relations to, and understandings of, the environment specifically climate change.
This work was commissioned by SIRIUS with the support of Creative Ireland County Cork Grant Scheme 2020.